Catalytic Converter: What Is Catalytic Converter in A Car and Why Its Cleaning Is Important?

Well, the catalytic converter belongs to the exhaust system of the car. The main function of this automotive part is to filter out the toxic substances emitted from the engine, so they cannot harm the environment badly. Catalytic converters are mandated by law since are responsible for reducing the emissions that arise when fuel is burned to generate power in the engine. Many car users, whey failed the emission test or PUC test, think of changing catalytic but it cost high. On the other hand, it can be cleaned with a catalytic converter cleaner available in the market. This would cost really less than changing the whole part and you can do it with the help of this article.

What Does It Look Like and What Does It Do?

The catalytic converter is installed directly in the exhaust. The inner structure of the part looks like a honeycomb and is mostly made of ceramic. This structure increases the surface area through several small channels in the catalytic converter, which means that more exhaust gases can be filtered out of the engine. A coating made of rhodium, palladium, and mostly platinum is used.

These high-quality metals ensure that harmful substances are bound and converted into non-toxic gases. Nitrogen, oxygen, and water vapor are also produced as by-products. This stops the direct emission of harmful gases like NO (Nitrogen Oxide) and CO (Carbon Monoxide) and unburned fuel in the environment. That is why a 3-way catalytic converter is popular and highly recommended.

How It Works

When the fuel-air mixture burns, harmful substances such as CO and NO are produced. And as we said, unburned fuel also enters the exhaust system. Now, this automotive part is responsible for converting the toxic CO into CO2 and NO into N. This process significantly reduces the harmful exhaust gases emitted from the car through the exhaust. This is how the catalytic converter got its name, as this process is called catalysis of the exhaust gases.

The chemical conversion of toxic into non-toxic substances is also known as oxidation or reduction. If the catalyst performs optimally, 100% of the toxic substances can be bound. Without catalytic converters, it would no longer be possible today to comply with the strict nitrogen oxide and exhaust gas standards and not to exceed them.

With the introduction of strict environmental laws, the requirements for the catalytic converters have become higher.  And, it is particularly important that they work properly. Otherwise, there may be a problem during the emission test and can also arise a risk of toxic gases entering the interior of your car. That is why many new cars have a warning system about defects in the exhaust system. If you discover that something is wrong with the exhaust system, you should immediately contact a workshop to have it checked and repaired.

How to Know There are Problems with Catalytic Converter

Before it creates any problem, a car owner should regularly get it checked. Cleaning it with catalytic converter cleaner is a really cost-friendly and easiest way before it can create any problem. But there are several signs that could indicate a problem with the catalytic converter.

If your car frequently misfires, this can damage the catalytic converter. If you hear rattling noises from it, this is also a sign of a defect. These noises can be caused by the broken ceramic fabrics that make up a catalytic converter. In addition, a loss of power during start-up and an uneven idling of the engine also indicate a problem with the catalytic converter. If you notice these problems, the engine fault lamp should already turn on and signal a defect.

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